More than 4 000 health workers have left the country since 2021, the Health Services Board (HSB) has revealed.
HSB chairperson Dr Paulinus Sikosana on Sunday told Reuters that those who left over the past year include 1 700 registered nurses who resigned last year and more than 900 who left this year.
A large number of doctors and nurses in Zimbabwe have found work mainly in Britain, Australia and regional countries such as Namibia.
Zimbabwe’s health workers went on a week-long strike in June this year demanding to be paid in US dollars as inflation further weakened the local currency.
On Sunday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the government has to improve remuneration and conditions of service for medical practitioners to curb brain drain in the health sector.
Writing in his weekly column published in The Sunday News, Mnangagwa said the government will give land for free to those who wished to set up medical facilities. He said:
We have to competitively reward our doctors in order to guarantee greater staff retention in our hospitals, and in the country.
Many of our doctors continue to leave the country for greener pastures; they are hotly sought after, particularly in the rich West, because of their superior training facilities.
The Second Republic has to treat in-country medical staff retention as a foremost national goal.
More visible and substantive steps will be taken in the near future to improve the working conditions for our medical staff.